The End of an Era
November 15th 12:00:00 AM
Thank you to everyone for your support of S4 over the years. Since our founding in 2005, we made substantial progress on the issue of Social Security reform. What started as a project of two impassioned college students -- our founders, Jonathan Swanson and Patrick Wetherille -- quickly grew into a grassroots movement that swept across the country. By 2009, we had over 11,000 members.
It would be impossible to list all of S4's successes since 2005, but we are grateful for all of the recognition and support that we received. Perhaps most important, S4 proved the conventional wisdom wrong. Young people do care about the future of this country, and by banding together, we can make a difference. And when all else fails, it helps to have an ostrich costume or two.
Here is a quick update of what S4 leaders are doing today:
Thank you again to everyone who helped make S4 a success.
Posted by Jeremy Tunnell on November 15th, 2009 | Comments
The silenced majority
June 08th 12:01:58 AM
In the June 1 edition of Newsweek, Robert J. Samuelson wrote about the need to stop procrastinating and reform Social Security and Medicare. Indeed, many people wonder why it is that we keep kicking the can down the road.
Conveniently, part of the answer came just one week later in the June 8 edition of Newsweek. I can't find the graphic online, but if you'll turn to page 6 of the magazine, you can see that 57% of all letters to the editor received in the week prior to publication were regarding Samuelson's article. An article about Iran generated the second-highest number of letters, at 19%.
Of the seven letters that Newsweek printed, how many of them were about Samuelson's article? Four of the seven, which equates almost exactly to 57%? Three of the seven, which would underrepresent the Samuelson letters by almost 15%? Two of the seven letters? One?
The answer: zero. That's right, not a single reader response to the Samuelson article appears in the Newsweek dated June 8.
Not only does this shed some light on the stumbling blocks to a serious conversation about reform, but it may also provide a clue as to why publications such as Newsweek are having trouble connecting with their readers.
Posted by Ryan Lynch on June 08th, 2009 | Comments
Social Security and Medicare sinking even faster
May 13th 03:21:44 PM
In case you missed it, the trustees of Medicare and Social Security released their annual report yesterday. The news was not good:
Social Security and Medicare are fading even faster under the weight of the recession, heading for insolvency years sooner than previously expected, the government warned Tuesday.
Medicare already is paying out more money than it receives, something that happened for the first time last year. And Social Security will be by 2016, a year sooner than had been projected, the trustees' annual report said.
Obama has said that he will oppose benefit cuts and personal accounts in Social Security, which leads one to assume that young workers will soon be asked to pay even more money into the system. But why should we agree to higher taxes, especially when Congress will continue to waste the Social Security surplus on pork projects totally unrelated to retirement?
Posted by Jeremy Tunnell on May 13th, 2009 | Comments
Social Security make believe
May 02nd 02:30:50 PM
From an article in the Washington Post that tries to dismiss personal accounts in light of the ups and downs of the stock market:
For many older baby boomers who once felt comfortable but have seen their 401(k)s and other accounts eviscerated the past two years, the magic words are no longer "stock market" -- they're "Social Security." That program, which is going to need to cut growth in benefits or get a huge bailout in a few years, is assuming a more important role in retirement planning than it has in decades.
The only problem with arguing that Social Security is becoming more important? It's not true. Yesterday, U.S. News & World Report highlighted this finding from a recent Gallup poll:
Given the decline in other investments, you might expect Americans to say they will increasingly rely on Social Security to finance retirement. But that didn’t happen. About 30 percent of Americans expect Social Security to be a major source of retirement income. This is roughly the same as last year and has remained fairly steady throughout the past decade.
It's okay to disagree with personal accounts, but let's have a fair fight. As Senator Daniel Patrick Moynahan said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."
Posted by Ryan Lynch on May 02nd, 2009 | Comments
Social Security deficit coming sooner than expected
March 27th 08:01:03 PM
Chuck Blahous, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, talked on PBS about the coming Social Security deficit:
Last year, the program's trustees estimated Social Security would go cash flow negative in 2017. Blahous thinks that date will now change.
BLAHOUS: It's clear that is going to come nearer. We don't know how much, maybe 2016, 2015, it's hard to say.
Here's the transcript.
Posted by Ryan Lynch on March 27th, 2009 | Comments
View more blog posts from S4